Bizzarro denounces foolhardy liquor privatization plan

HARRISBURG, June 30 – State Rep. Ryan A. Bizzarro, D-Erie, today voted against the Republican-crafted liquor privatization plan, which passed the Pennsylvania House of Representatives on concurrence.

“My colleagues on the other side of the aisle acted against their own constituents’ wishes today,” Bizzarro said. “Poll after poll has shown that Pennsylvanians want more convenience, better selection and decent pricing – not the absolute privatization of our state wine and spirits stores peddled in House Bill 466.”

Bizzarro pointed out that privatizing the system is fiscally irresponsible, citing the plan’s projected revenue loss over the long term.

“Once the system is completely divested, the state loses out on $80 million in annual profits, and the resulting new annual revenue from license fees and business taxes would be much lower,” Bizzarro said. “The state simply cannot afford to give up such a reliable source of revenue.”

In addition, a study conducted under former Gov. Tom Corbett concluded that privatization would force more than 2,300 full-time workers to lose their jobs and be forced onto unemployment.

“In good conscience, I could not support a plan that would rob thousands of Pennsylvanians of their family-sustaining jobs,” Bizzarro said. “Not only would these workers have a difficult time finding other jobs with similar benefits, but unemployment costs would skyrocket in our state. This legislation just doesn’t make moral or fiscal sense.”

House Bill 466 must still obtain the governor’s signature to become law.